Wednesday’s game in Boston was a 45-minute microcosm of the University of Delaware’s 2012-13 season. With up and down play throughout, the Hens spent portions of their contest at Northeastern looking invincible and other extended stretches looking lost. Overtime alone was a perfect representation of this, as UD went more than three full minutes without a point, falling behind 74-69 with less than 90 seconds to play. Then, in the blink of an eye, Delaware got it together, scoring the final seven points of the contest en route to a monumental two-point road victory over the first-place Huskies.
Delaware may still be 2.5 games behind Northeastern in the CAA standings, but Wednesday’s win proved that Monte Ross’ team has the moxie to beat anyone in the league.
“One of things I just told those guys was, that was toughness right there,” Ross said moments after the victory. “When you get down five points in overtime it looks bleak. But we never panicked. One of the things we talked about in the timeout was that we had time. We just needed to string together stops and execute on the offensive end.”
“I couldn’t be prouder of these guys. The toughness this team is displaying on a night in and night out basis is just incredible. They have been a pleasure to coach.”
To be able to win three games in a row like this on a neutral floor in March, UD will still need to play with more consistency. Winning games against quality opponents such as Northeastern though, puts what this talented group is capable of in Richmond at the CAA Tournament on full display.
“A really, really good quality win on the road speaks volumes about our team,” Ross said. “It also allows us to breathe a little bit. To win three games in five days is really an accomplishment.”
A big reason why Delaware came out on the winning end was the play of sophomore Jarvis Threatt, who had 20 points, six rebounds and three assists on Wednesday. With the Hens down by one in the final half-minute, Threatt got the ball in his hands. As the shot clock wound down, he seemed headed nowhere fast, but then after passing the ball to Josh Brinkley and getting it right back, Threatt hit the perimeter shot that put Delaware ahead to stay.
“Actually I thought I made an awful move before I threw the ball into Brink,” Threatt said about the Hens’ final offensive possession. “But I called for the ball back and then shot it with confidence.”
His coach was not surprised.
“One of the things about Jarvis is he sniffs certain times of the year,” Ross said. “He knows when to turn it on and he certainly has turned it on during this month of February and he needs to keep that going.”
During Delaware’s three-game surge, Threatt is averaging 17 points, 10 rebounds and five assists per game. If he has three games anywhere near that good in Richmond, UD will be an awfully difficult team to beat.
Anything seems possible with this group of Hens, both in the long term and on any given night. If nothing else, Wednesday’s performance proved that once and for all.